Hot Springs, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - Tanzanite Cat got Oaklawn Park's stakes series for 3-year-olds started Monday with a hard fought victory in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes.
Trained by Cody Autrey and ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., Tanzanite Cat dueled with Walt in the early going of the mile stakes. Sitting third was 6-5 favorite Coastline in the 10-horse field.
The top two runners continued their battle around the far turn and into the stretch with Coastline and Son of a Preacher racing third and fourth, respectively.
Tanzanite Cat, sent off at 9-1, and 5-1 Walt were even with a furlong to go. Just yards before the finish, Tanzanite Cat slipped past Walt for the lead and was able to register a 1 1/4-length win.
Coastline finished third just ahead of Son of a Preacher. Rounding out the order of finish were Fire Starter, A Step Ahead, Unstoppable Colby, Denali Rahy Ruler, D'cajun Cat and Whyruawesome.
The time for the Smarty Jones was 1:38.69 on a fast track.
Owned by James and Ywachetta Driver, Tanzanite Cat won in his first stakes race and pocketed $90,000. The colt has won two of three starts for $123,000.
Tanzanite Cat returned $20.20, $8.40 and $5.60. Walt paid $8.00 and $4.40, and Coastline paid $2.80 to show.
Coming up next for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn will be the Southwest Stakes on Feb. 17 followed by the Rebel on March 15 with the Arkansas Derby on April 12.
Last year's Smarty Jones Stakes was won by Will Take Charge who went on to win the Travers and finish second in the Breeders' Cup Classic and was voted 2013 champion 3-year-old male.